Saxophonist Dave Tofani sounds as if he'd fit right in with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, somewhere between Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster. That's the thought on hitting the play button on Nights At The Inn, to hear Tofani and his quartet swing hard into Duke's "Angelica." The banda working unit that has been doing a regular gig at the Deer Head Inn in the Poconos [United States] for the past yearhas a robust synergy as they duplicate their vibrant live set in the studio.
Tofani is a first-call musician with a resume that indicates versatility, as an accompanist for Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, George Benson and Barbra Streisand, as well as pop acts like Steely Danhe performed on their Grammy-winning Two Against Nature (Giant Records, 2000)and John Lennon, on Double Fantasy (Capitol Records, 1980).
Nights At The Inn stays in mainstream jazz territory, though, presenting vibrant workouts of Ellingtons's "In a Sentimental Mood," showcasing Tofani's gorgeous, rich tone, Cole Porter's "What is This Thing Called Love?," Thad Jones' "A Child is Born" and the Kern/Hammerstein classic, "All The Things You Are."
The saxophonist's songwriting skills are also on display on the bouncy "Brushes on the Snare" and "You Caught Me," and create a high-energy highlight on "Trip to Madrid."
If you go out for a live set of jazz, this is what you want to hear: a sparkling, first-rate band with an impassioned saxophonist leading the way. Great mainstream sounds!
Track Listing: Angelica; Brushes on the Snare; A Child Is Born; You Caught Me; In a Sentimental Mood; Trip to Madrid; All the Things You Are; I Hear a Rhapsody; What Is This Thing Called Love; Violets for Your Furs.
Personnel: Dave Tofani: tenor saxophone; Jesse Green: piano; Evan Gregor: bass; Ronnie Zito drums; Steve LaSpina: bass (2, 8); Jack Wilkins: guitar (4, 6).
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.